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Author: Leonard Wibberley
ISBN13: 978-0553205367
Title: The Mouse That Roared
Format: lrf txt azw rtf
ePUB size: 1999 kb
FB2 size: 1417 kb
DJVU size: 1931 kb
Category: Science Fiction
Publisher: Bantam Books (1981)

The Mouse That Roared by Leonard Wibberley

Obviously Leonard Wibberley is a male writer, who was writing during the 1950's, but this really stuck out and kind of annoyed me, because Gloriana is a kick-ass character, and so I was a bit frustrated to see her talk about how women's rights are little more than abuse  . This book has several important attributes that make it enjoyable. First, is The Mouse that Roared by Leonard Wibberley is a satirical novel about the Cold War. The plot centers on the fictional country of Grand Fenwick and the exploits of its inhabitants. In the story, Grand Fenwick is the world’s smallest country.

About book: "Victory sometimes carries more responsibilities than gains" p 185, raises serious issues, survival of human race over nation. Idealistic, optimistic, sweet tale, more naive than silly. This book is wonderfully ridiculous - a satire of this finest kind. Their entire economy, based on the successful export of their world-famous wine Pinot Grand Fenwick, is brought to its knees after American vintners in San Rafael, California begins bottling a competitive wine they call Pinot Grand Enwick.

Book Overviews: Top Book, Top Author, Top Genre. In Leonard Wibberley's classic political satire, a tiny backwards country decides the only way to survive a sudden economic downturn is to declare war on the United States and lose to get foreign aid - but things don't go according to plan. The Mouse That Roared was made into a successful feature film in 1959 starring Peter Sellers. PRAISE FOR THE BESTSELLING CLASSIC: "As funny as it is charming

The Mouse That Roared is a 1955 Cold War satirical novel by Irish American writer Leonard Wibberley, which launched a series of satirical books about an imaginary country in Europe called the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

Leonard Wibberley, a journalist and author of more than 100 books, including the comic novel ''The Mouse That Roared,'' died of a heart attack Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 68 years old. Mr. Wibberley's works ranged from juvenile fiction to a four-volumne biography of Thomas Jefferson. But he received most attention for his 1955 best seller, ''The Mouse That Roared,'' which was made into a movie starring Peter Sellers. He left the paper a year later. Story of the 'Mouse'. 'The Mouse That Roared,'' told the story of the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, a country five miles long and three miles wide, with an army of 20 archers and four men at arms, that declares war on the United States.

As recorded in The Mouse That Roared, this little country, three miles wide and five miles long, prevented a nuclear holocaust by declaring war on the United States. Later Peter Sellers was to star in a film re-creating those momentous times.

1981 Perma-Bound small hardcover
Reviews: 7
Maybe it's a mistake to reread books I loved as a kid. Recently, I've done that with several—and found myself disappointed. Just now I've had a similar (if less extreme) experience with a 1955 bestseller about nuclear madness, The Mouse That Roared, by the Irish-American writer Leonard Wibberley. The book was the first in a series of five comic novels, but it made a bigger splash four years later when Peter Sellers starred in a popular film adaptation of the same name. And that may be the problem I had in reading the book: I kept seeing Sellers' face on several of the key characters in the story. (He played multiple characters in the film. More famously, Sellers was Chief Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films.) I remember having laughed hysterically when I read the book at the age of 14 or so. But Sellers overacted as usual, and the film was less satisfying.

Here's the story . . . Nestled in the Alps is a diminutive principality known as the Duchy of Grand Fenwick. Its 6,000 people live in portions of three valleys that together are five miles long and three miles wide. Founded in 1370 by a small group of English knights who broke away from the army they were serving, the Duchy has been independent ever since. Its sole source of income is the sale of Pinot Grand Fenwick, a wine that is prized by connoisseurs throughout the world. Unfortunately, a winery in California is now marketing an inferior wine called Pinot Grand Enwick, using a label that is otherwise identical to that of the real thing. So, the livelihood of the people of the Duchy is now threatened—and the only way the 22-year-old Duchess and her advisers can see to put a stop to the ripoff and raise more revenue is . . . get this . . .  to declare war on the United States and lose. Since the US is always generous with the nations it vanquishes, the Duchess figures they'll come out ahead.

Unfortunately, the United States doesn't take the Duchy's declaration of war seriously—until the little country's two-dozen-man expeditionary force invades New York City. In fact, it's only several days later, once the Fenwickians have kidnapped the nation's top nuclear scientist, the four-star general who heads US civil defense, and four New York cops, that the US government even figures out it's at war. And to the chagrin of the Duchess and her advisers, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick didn't lose. It won.

So it goes.

If you're interested in a more recent comic novel that's funnier as well as more timely, look to Carl Hiaasen or Christopher Buckley. Hiaasen's Razor Girl is reviewed online at "Reality TV, African rodents, the roach patrol." My review of The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley is "An irreligious take on Catholic history."  I found both books hilarious, as I did others that both authors have written.
I first read this book in the late 1960s, and I thought it was hilarious. The movie reinforced my view of this book as a humorous work. Upon rereading it today, I found that it was satirical, had a few chuckles, but was not what I would consider to be humorous.

Others have given the synopsis, so I see no need to rehash it. The premise of a small country declaring war on the US in order to receive rehabilitation, as in post-war Germany, was amusing. Ultimately, though, the bits of humour were wrapped around the serious subject of the superpowers, nuclear capabilities, weapons of mass destruction and disarmament. Sure, there were smiles, but the author was trying to make a point about his views on the Cold War and the 1950s diplomatic, political and military establishments, on both the left and right political spectrum. He uses the satire in the story to make the point that ordinary people are forgotten by both political sides of the Cold War, and indeed, in any situation where the elites and power brokers are determining policies.

There were a couple of places where the book seemed dated, but overall, it still seemed relevant and timely. However, it also evoked feelings of sadness. We are presented with Mr. Wibberley's wishful vision of how to ensure that there is a balance of power that gets rid of weapons of mass destruction and ensures peace. He wants, and presents to the reader, a world where ordinary citizens can live their lives without the fear of destruction being unleashed by politicians who have lost their moral compass and common sense. One of the drawbacks of aging, though, is that one has "been there, done that ". Since reading this book the first time, I have seen wars in the near, far, and Middle East, as well as other places, too numerous to mention. There have been countless terrorist attacks. There is nuclear proliferation with nuclear weapons in both democratic and totalitarian regimes, and enough unbalanced rulers who aren't afraid to use them if or when they feel it is warranted. Germ and chemical warfare are still in use in some places. The Cold War is supposed to be over, but Russia is edging into former Soviet satellite countries. The old "duck and cover" is a quaint concept of the past, because we know how useless it is. Polarization is replacing co-operation, and there are those who would tear down a society, regardless of the consequences, rather than reach a win-win compromise. We are inured to most of what's going on and don't even get anxious about most of the issues anymore. In some ways, then, this book was a depressing reminder of how little politics and diplomacy have changed for the better, and of how precarious are the lives of ordinary citizens, as political parties and countries vie for one-upmanship and ordinary people are their pawns.

This was a very well written book and the satire was brilliantly done. It captures a moment in time, in the 1950s, giving a glimpse of the post-WWII/Cold War era. A number of reviewers found this book to be hilarious, so maybe it can be read as a humorous book; I couldn't read it that way. Once I adjusted my expectations, I saw humorous elements, but I read it as a political and social satire.

I highly recommend this book, with the caveat that some people will not find it all that funny. Accept it for what it is, with no preconceptions about its humour, and it should be a very satisfying read, that gives some laughs, but also forces one to think. The humour is used to make the author's message palatable, but he demands that the reader dig beneath the surface to discover and reflect upon his underlying message.
Written in the 1950s, this is the first book in a series. Unlike so many series, this book is a complete standalone novel.

What happens when a tiny country (just a few thousand souls) finds itself in debt? It goes to war with the United States, loses, and is paid money to rebuild. That was the plan, but it didn't unfold that way.

Made famous by Peter Sellers in a movie by the same name, the book is well worth the read.
Love this book! Back when my brother and I were in school (1970s!) he had to read this book as a class assignment. I was too young to read it at the time but always remembered the title. Well I finally got it and it was hilarious! Wibberly took very understandable situations to the absurd extreme and crafted a book that just might work in today's insane politically correct society. This was great fun.
The best kind of political satire. From a tiny European country you've never heard of a small band of adventurers sets out to fight a war with America so they can lose with honor and be financially rescued from ruin.

The Mouse That Roared describes the nobility of the United States who treat all the countries they defeat in War very well indeed. Unfortunately the tiny country defeats America and things don't work out as you expect.